I hope that you find time to read this, but if your baby drops your phone in the toilet or you just plain forget then know that I forgive you. In fact, forgiveness is one of the things I want to talk to you about. But first, let me explain.
I’ve been watching you, you see. I’m not trying to be creepy here, but I’ve seen you around quite a bit. I saw you in the drop off loop at school, last night’s bun unraveling from your head and slippers on your feet. I saw you at the grocery store, engaged in bargaining tactics with your children over fruit snacks. At the park, I saw you fall back onto your picnic blanket in exhaustion as your kids tumbled towards the playground. I was there at library as you pulled a screaming toddler out of story time. Friend, I’ve witnessed these events that I know were not your finest moments and I’m sure you wished no one saw. But I did and I want you to know you’re doing a great job.
I mean it, so don’t assume that I’m trying to humor you. You have the hardest job: the one where little people’s lives are literally at stake. You are responsible for more than your share of an enormous load and at the end of the day, there is no thanks. Heck, there isn’t even any pay. You are underappreciated and overworked. You also are loved, tremendously. I hope you know that. You’re doing a stellar job, Mama.
So, I want you to go easy on yourself. At the end of the day, when the sticky breakfast dishes have mixed with dinner’s and the kids are missing a bath (again), let it go. When you fall asleep with your little one in your bed (even though you said no more), don’t sweat it. When you forget to sign the homework folder and you lose your keys and the dog runs out of food, please don’t beat yourself up. These are casualties of parenthood, just minor details, and they won't matter next year, next month, or even by the end of the week. Forgive yourself for all of your missteps and imperfections and focus on what really matters. Look to your kids.
Your kids are happy and healthy, right? They know they are loved and they give love back so easily. They are watching you and learning that mistakes happen and we can move past them without them ruining our day. Sure, they act up sometimes but that is because they’re flawed humans like the rest of us and with you, they feel safe enough to let loose. They’re kind of great kids, aren’t they? They reflect the love and care you’ve poured in to them. You did that!
I hope that this letter finds you on a good day; one where you (finally) sit down at the end of it all and it feels like a success. Maybe your partner will bring a carton of ice cream home to share with you or maybe you will go out for it and celebrate by yourself. And if it is one of those days where you barely scraped by, that's ok too. Get the ice cream anyway. Tomorrow is another day.
Another mom who's been there